The foreign pig outperforms the domestic one

Authorities have recently uncovered numerous batches of African swine fever-infected pork that were about to be smuggled into the consumer market. Both farmers and consumers are deeply concerned as the disease continues to spread rapidly within the country.


A few days ago, Market Management Team 25, Hanoi Market Management Department, and Chương Mỹ District Police discovered 40 tonnes of African swine fever and blue-ear disease-infected pork in two cold storage warehouses belonging to Mr. N.B.M (Quang Trung hamlet, Hữu Văn commune, Chương Mỹ district) awaiting consumption.

Working with the authorities, Mr. M., the owner of the batch, admitted that all the goods were collected from markets in Hữu Văn commune and some adjacent communes in Chương Mỹ district at a price of a few thousand VND/kg. This raises concerns about the possibility of African swine fever-infected pork entering the market during the Lunar New Year when demand is high.

Smuggled pigs are being increasingly transported from Cambodia to Vietnam, posing the risk of disease

Mr. Nguyễn Đình Đảng, Director of the Department of Livestock Production and Veterinary Medicine of Hanoi, said that the total number of pigs in Hanoi is nearly 1.5 million. As a transit location, the consumption of pigs and pork products in the capital city is very high. Especially before and after the Lunar New Year, food demand increases, so farmers tend to expand their herds.

In the context of cold weather and unpredictable changes which could affect the resistance of livestock, there is a risk of African swine fever spreading and affecting the pork supply during the Lunar New Year.

According to Mr. Đảng, the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has requested localities to strengthen active disease monitoring; inspect and test slaughterhouses, wholesale markets during the Lunar New Year to timely detect diseased pigs and strictly handle cases of buying, selling, and transporting sick pigs.

The transportation and trading of pork in these days at wholesale markets is vibrant. At the largest livestock and poultry wholesale market in the North in Bình Lục (Hà Nam), the volume of pork brought to the market is about 2,000 pigs/day, up 10% compared to 2 weeks ago. Specifically, each trade session involves about 10 trucks (equivalent to over 1,000 pigs) being imported.

Mr. Nguyễn Xuân Lộc, representative of the Cattle and Poultry Market Management Board of Hà Nam, said that as the Lunar New Year approaches, buying and selling needs tend to increase more than usual.

The amount of pork at this market mainly supplies slaughterhouses in the province and some adjacent provinces such as Thái Bình, Nam Định, Hưng Yên… Every day, the market has 2-3 trucks (each truck carrying 100 pigs) being exported to Hanoi. This is the time when diseases and infected meat could enter the market, so it is necessary to strengthen animal quarantine for transportation in and out.

Widespread Smuggling of Pigs

Mr. Nguyễn Trí Công, Chairman of the Dong Nai Livestock Association, said based on captured information, on average, there are 6,000-7,000 smuggled pigs from Cambodia entering Vietnam every night through some border gates in the provinces of the Southeast and Southwest.

The situation of smuggling pigs has heated up the meeting between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and localities recently. Mr. Nguyễn Đình Xuân, Director of the Tây Ninh Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, admitted that the reality shows there are very large illegal pig smuggling channels. The leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that there will continue to be reports to the Prime Minister on the smuggling situation during the Lunar New Year and recommend disciplinary measures for places with lax management where smuggling occurs.

The Department of Animal Health has requested localities to implement a plan to prevent and control African swine fever. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in 2023, over 750 outbreaks of African swine fever occurred nationwide, requiring the destruction of nearly 36,000 pigs in 46 provinces and cities, especially in Lạng Sơn, Cao Bằng, Nghệ An, Quảng Trị, Đắk Lắk, Tiền Giang…

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